Baseball Finally Returns, More Award Finalists, Wainwright Got a Sizable Contract, Cubs Pitchers Get Fantasy Love, and Other Cubs Bullets

I don’t see any reason why milk chocolate should even exist when it can all just be dark chocolate.

  • Baseball is back. I’ve been waiting for it, but I don’t feel as hyped for the World Series as I would’ve been if it had started a couple days ago. I get why it just happened that there was such a long layoff before the World Series – some space is naturally built in, and then the LCS both were short – but it’s really been a buzzkill to wait. The sense of energy and excitement and momentum that had built up over what had been a particularly strong postseason (right? Not just me?) is now back to a baseline.
  • Hopefully tonight’s game will be a thrilling one right from the jump, and we can all get back into it.
  • Speaking of World Series timing, this tweet is oddly phrased, but … this is actually a good and smart decision? Why not be honest about the situation and not intentionally bury your product:
  • The MLBPA announced its award finalists, and as you would expect, there are no Cubs players this year. A fun but obvious thing is that, although there are three finalists for every award, they couldn’t come up with three finalists for the Outstanding AL Player because basically no one got votes besides Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge.
  • In the NL, the Outstanding Player finalists are Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, and Austin Riley. The Outstanding Pitcher finalists are Sandy Alcántara, Zac Gallen, and Julio Urias.
  • Speaking of the Players Association, they have started their talks with MLB about minor league players, who you may recall have now been unionized and folded into the MLBPA. The sides have to work out a minor league collective bargaining agreement, and yes, I do instinctively twitch when I see a tweet like this:
  • Two Cubs pitchers get a nod in a FanGraphs fantasy piece about trying to snag interesting upside starters late in deep leagues: Justin Steele and Hayden Wesneski. Apparently both are flying up the draft boards (as they should be), and while fantasy production is not the same thing as “being a good and useful starting pitcher for the 2023 Chicago Cubs,” there is obviously some key overlap there. So if national folks are noticing these two as upside plays for fantasy purposes, that is perhaps just another indication that the things they were doing in 2022 project well going forward.
  • If you missed Bryan’s deep dive on Wesneski yesterday, make sure you un-miss it today.
  • On a much, much, much less happy note, if you missed news of the bad Alexander Canario injury last night, the details are here.
  • So, Adam Wainwright got a lot from the Cardinals for his farewell tour:
  • I guess the thinking was, he made $17.5 million in 2022, he pitched to that level of effectiveness, so he wouldn’t return for less. Nominally, anyway. You can safely assume the deferred money is so that they still have flexibility to spend somewhat aggressively this year, as their president has suggested they would. Still, it’s more than I was thinking.
  • I missed this earlier, but the WBC this spring will air on FOX Sports:
  • https://twitter.com/WBCBaseball/status/1583602815632482305

  • This is so sad Alexa play I Wanna Dance With Somebody:
  • They carried this over to today (it ends at midnight eastern), so if you want to shop, here you go:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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